Longtime buddies Glen Perkins, Joe Mauer make AL All-Star team - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Longtime buddies Glen Perkins, Joe Mauer make AL All-Star team

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- Jim Leyland didn't have to do too much digging to deem Twins closer Glen Perkins All-Star worthy.

Four appearances against his team this season provided for the Detroit Tigers and American League manager an ample sample size.

Perkins closed out a quartet of Minnesota victories over the Tigers during the season's first half, never allowing a run. Add that to the eight-year major leaguer's 1.99 ERA and 20 saves in 22 opportunities — good for seventh in the AL — and Leyland had plenty of evidence to include Perkins among his picks for the 2013 All-Star Game on July 16 at the New York Mets' Citi Field.

A first-time selection, Perkins joins fellow St. Paul native Joe Mauer, whom fans voted in as the AL's starting catcher. He'll play in his sixth All-Star Game and start his fourth.

"I think it still hasn't sunk in," Perkins told MLB.com. "It's a goal that everyone has once they play in the major leagues. I think more than anything, I'm excited to go with Joe. We've known each other for a long time and it's been pretty well-documented this year what we've been through. So this is another chapter for that."

The pair's careers date back to their Little League days and have included the past eight seasons in the Twin Cities and an appearance on this year's Team USA squad at the World Baseball Classic.

"It's an awesome deal," said Mauer, who's batting .314 with 30 RBI, 25 doubles and eight home runs. "Obviously to bring a teammate like Glen — we go way back — is really special. So I'm very excited. I'm probably more excited for him, but I'm just excited about everything."

It'll be the first time since 2010 the Twins send multiple representatives to the Midsummer Classic. Mauer becomes the third AL catcher to receive four or more fan-elected starts.

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